Mind Intention in Taijiquan

Postby psalchemist » Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:48 pm

Greetings all,

A specific question assaulted my curiosity while I was practicing the form this morning.

It crossed my mind, while I was executing the "zuo3 you4 yun2 shou3", "Cloud Hands" posture, process, that it was a prime candidate for observing and analysing the differences between "sinking" and "rooting".

However, being unsure of my practice results, I am unable to draw any concrete conclusions from my experience to make any type of reliable diagnosis.

There seems to be an interesting alternating interplay between the two, but I am unable to detect or describe it with clarity or certainty...

Could someone please explain how "sinking" and "rooting" work/play together in the movement:Zuo3 You4 Yun2 Shou3-Cloud Hands?

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:28 pm

Greetings Audi,

Please disregard my last question on the subject of JIN...let me approach the whole from a different angle.

I believe I am still suffereing from terminology deficiency...


JING=XING?=CHING

CH'I=QI

SHEN=XIN?=JIN?

Firstly,
Are these equivalent expressions...could you please clarify the question marks?

Secondly,
from what I understand, we are speaking of three levels of refinement of the 'same' substance...Is this correct?

Thirdly and lastly,
Do "JIN points" share equivalent meaning with "Meridian points" ?

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 12, 2003 3:52 pm

Greetings all,

The longer I consider it the more I realize that I should perhaps clarify my posting above concerning Cloud Hands...or at least I will try.

What I would really like to target is...How to maintain "sinking" throughout the movement. I seem to lose mine while in process, which leads to the loss of my "rooting".

The question is...Should one maintain that 'sinking' low stance throughout the whole posture or is there an up and down "bobbing" effect to the movement?

To bob or not to bob...That is the question. Image

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:08 pm

Well, I've been waiting, but no one else seems to want to chime in.
I don't bob during Cloud Hands. I will find out from my instructor if this is correct or not for you in YCF forms. However, as I practice it now, the waist is kept at one level throughout, with a side to side push and step between my legs and a turn from the waist.
I don't bob because in Wu style you don't, so now you have me wondering if I'm doing this correctly. Sometimes I carry over things that shouldn't be, but I don't know it yet. So don't take what I say as written is stone for YCF forms.
As I recall our YCF form refinements on this, and there have been many on this form, you maintain an even height throughout the form. This was consistent with the Wu form as well.

There is one question I want to ask the YCF stylists on this site (other YCF stylists, I should say, who are not cross over Wu stylists) about this particular form.
How on earth can you stand to have your sides so completely exposed while doing this, and a lot of others but especially this, form?
I'm sorry. I've tried REALLY hard to not ask that.
But take a look at how a Wu stylist (North American Wu, third, fourth and fifth gen forms for all the purists out there) does Wave Hands Like Clouds...
Man, the YCF form leaves your sides WIDE open to attack. Or so it seems after you learn the Wu form (read above caveats and put them here as well, I'm tired of typing them).
My instructor and I have covered this issue ad nauseum, and he's shown me how the waist turn itself helps you keep that area protected and of course you can drop your arm at any time if needed, but I still am not comfortable exposing my rib cage and my sides in this fashion.
Purely a personal observation, based on my experience with the Wu family forms. They most definitely seem to cover you defensively quite a bit more than some similar YCF forms do.
Plus the hip turns in the Wave Hands Like Clouds in the Wu form are excellent for breaking just about anything that comes in close proximity to your shoulder, rib cage or waist. Wrists, arms, spears, staffs, anything really, all snap like twigs if you've made your turn correctly in that form. I don't see the same kind of explosive, breaking power in the YCF form. Many other similarities, but I haven't found that aspect yet.
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:26 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

Thanks for the reply. Image

I think I may have just pinpointed the source of the 'bob' produced...

This does not answer my question of whether or not to do it likeways in Yang style, but at least tells me why it is occurring...and leads me to agree with what you have stated about always maintaining that 'low' stance throughout, this would probably then be similar.

If one does not open the 'Kua bu' enough, and maintain the 'beach ball' between the knees, maintain proper width in 'horse stance', then the tendancy while stepping sideways is to place the pressure on the inside of the foot, rather than the outside of the foot(which seems to be the norm).

Is stepping on the outside of the soles the 'norm' in the form?

Where do you experience pressure on the sole of the foot while performing this movement?

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-12-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:49 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

I was wondering what the differences were between the Wu and Yang family styles in the Cloud Hands movement and was hoping you might like to describe them for me.

You said that Wu style Taijiquan better protects the ribs and ribcage...does this stem from a greater rotation of the hips, hence a more constant protection?

Could you explain please?

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-12-2003).]
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Postby dorshugla » Wed Nov 12, 2003 9:07 pm

What I would really like to target is...How to maintain "sinking" throughout the movement. I seem to lose mine while in process, which leads to the loss of my "rooting".

Q. Should one maintain that 'sinking' low stance throughout the whole posture or is there an up and down "bobbing" effect to the movement?
A. There is never an "up and down" "bobbing" movement during the form. Consistency is the key. That is why when one starts learning, the knees are slightly bent as a way of getting used to movement sequence. As one progresses, one goes to the next level (ability) of bending the knees "more" (relative) with regards posture familiarization.
"Form" can never build sinking ability. Without "sinking", th ebody will float upward
(float meaning no stabilty in posture, and as someone pushes you fall, instead of them.

Proper use of Wave hands (waist roataion-Yang style) help in redirecting force/push.
USe also determines how "yun shou" will be used. If one does not have a clue, it will be just a mechanical things.

Wu style (Jianquan) is just as effective as Yang style but again, what use was taught by the teacher. If not taught, then it is just another move without reference. Yun shou could be an arm lock, throw or foot redirect, then throw.

To bob or not to bob...That is the question.
Do not bob as opposed to dO not, Bob.

I had no idea punctuation was so important. It changes the whole thing.
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Postby dorshugla » Wed Nov 12, 2003 9:11 pm

Fellows:

Just a note as I looked at the original thread discussion.

Mind intent is only applicable if one is openminded. People can be fooled to believe that mind intent is useful but you hav eto at least know the topic (meaning practice first and talk later) "FLow" can only happen when the action is internalized.

just a thought!
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 12, 2003 9:39 pm

< Mind intent is only applicable if one is openminded > D.
Could you explain please?

<People can be fooled to believe that mind intent is useful but you have to at least know the topic(meaning practice first and talk later) > D.
How can one focus with mind intent in practice if one does not know WHAT to focus on by talking first?

< "FLow" can only happen when the action is internalized > D.
I agree.

Also, how and where do YOU focus "yi" when YOU practice form?




[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-12-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:09 pm

< "Form" can never build 'sinking' ability. > D.

Again, I agree...which is why I opt to understand the concept of 'sinking' through discussion...Since practicing "form" in itself, will not teach me what the rules and methods are for employing the application of 'sinking'.

Demonstrating "threading" for example will not convey to me how to "thread".
Chances are , I would not even be aware of what I were seeing.
I must be told to first consider the grounding, then the legs pushing/pulling, then the hips/waist rotating, then the arms and hands manifesting....Without thorough explanation, how could one possibly learn by the "practice first, talk later theory" ?
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:25 pm

Psalchemist:
How to describe it in words?
I dunno.
I'll try.
Picture Yang style CH, now get smaller. In other words, keep your feet closer together and bend your knees quite a bit more. Don't hold your arms out away from you, rather they are much closer, still rounded through your armpits though, back still open, chest sunk.
There is no "rotation" through your waist, there is movement from your hips instead. Lean way over to your right (we'll start right) and move your right hand in similar motion to YCF style, only in a smaller arc, closer to your body, almost in your face compared to YCF style, turn your left hip to follow your arm, all your weight should be on the right leg at this point, your left arm simply folds down next to your body, naturally straight palm facing forward. Keep your right palm facing you the entire time. When your right palm reaches the end of the arc and your left arm is resting against your left side you take half a step to the right with your left foot, your feet actually should be almost together when you finish, and simultaneously bring your left arm up to touch your left fingertips to your right wrist (same kind of movement in YCF style, only later), while your right palm rotates out to face forward.
Now, detach your left fingertips from your right wrist while at the same time you turn your left toe 45 degrees to your left, your weight should still be on the right.
Now lean your weight to your left, move your left hand in an arc in front of your face to your left and allow your right arm to drop naturally straight down across your right side, turning your hips slightly to the left at the same time. When you reach the end of the movement you will simultaneously turn your left palm outward, take a half step to your right with your right leg and bring your right arm up in an arc to meet the fingertips of your right arm to your left wrist.
You keep going, three times.

The major difference is in the holding of the arms closer to your body and allowing one arm to cover the entire side of your body as you do this.
The explosive power is in the side that is covered. You can capture anything in between the curve of your arm and your body and with the turn of your hip you can either immobilize it, or break it.
I didn't used to believe you could break something like a spear or staff in there, until Sifu proved it to us at a seminar.
We were picking up splinters out of odd corners for weeks.



[This message has been edited by Wushuer (edited 11-12-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 12, 2003 11:20 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

That was a great description of movement!

I can appreciate the difficulty of such a task, but I think I did understand your explanation.

I was really curious as to how more rotational power was 'created'...It's in the step, right.

I should have known from the 'ye ma fen zong' lessons I have recieved that a little angle outward in the step makes a big difference. Fourty five degrees should make a huge difference!

I tried it out...

Do I understand correctly if I say that the feet end up at fourty-five degree angles ( a V shape) in Wu style, as opposed to the straight and parallel feet position in the Yang style?

I find no possibility for the erroneous 'bobbing effect'present in the Wu style, since the footwork eliminates the need for such a distinguished opening of the 'Kua bu'.

And yes, I too can relate to the feeling of security involved in the Cloud Hands of the Wu style.
It has an immediate and distinct psychological feeling of being well covered, less vulnerable. More closed, less open.

No wonder you call Yang style "Swoopy" in comparison. Image


Thanks for the time and effort, I will definitely play around with those differences for a while.

Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image
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Postby dorshugla » Wed Nov 12, 2003 11:30 pm

< Mind intent is only applicable if one is openminded > D.
Could you explain please?

AN ANSWER: If one has no expreience of a thing, the reaction will not be polished meaning the mind has not "entrained" or the periodization curve has not been reached.
example: some people can learn "lou shi ao bu" in 2 hours, others 5 hours, why? That is how it is. Periodization refers to the length of time (gong) to learn something. If you did not put in the required practice, it will not come. At the beginning stages of practice mind can only be in learing mode and therfore not "disciplined" to act instinctly. A beginner learning tui shou versus a long time practitioner is an example.

<People can be fooled to believe that mind intent is useful but you have to at least know the topic(meaning practice first and talk later)>
AN ANSWER: My first teachers used to say practice first and talk later. I understood "Mind Intent" to be a result of proper practice and gong (intermediate to advanced). Beginners should not be interetsed in mind intent. They just need to practice.

Also, how and where do YOU focus "yi" when YOU practice form?
AN NSWER: I have never focused "yi". I relax, sink (try to), clear mind,and be even tempered. One of my modern teachers (i am sure he was just joking or trying to jolt me to reality) was saying if I thought yi was so important, why didn't i just enter UFC or MMA and use mind intent!!!!!
Mind intent is not objective reality!!

Just look at people's behaviour and attitude!
just paraphrasing!!
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 12, 2003 11:58 pm

I am a beginner.
I am interested in 'yi'.
Whether I should or shouldn't be.
Hey, maybe 'yi' will work for me.
Just a thought!

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-12-2003).]
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Postby Anderzander » Thu Nov 13, 2003 1:52 pm

Hi

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>
Nice of you to drop in for a spot Image </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Cheers Psalchemist Image thanks for making me welcome.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>
Rooting causes the emptiness to adjust from the base (return force)...hmm...right...I think...actually, could you explain more fully ..."adjust from the base" and "return force" ? </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I’ll have a go Image

As we know the classics state that all movements start at the feet, get magnified in the legs and ripple through the body into the arms before being expressed to the fingertips.

This means upward and downward movements.

So by releasing, sinking is created, sinking creates emptiness in the body and rooting in the base. When the body is thus empty and the sinking continues then the body adjusts from the base up. The rooting causes a wave of force to rise from the feet.

The emphasis remains on releasing however – to bring about sinking etc etc. To concentrate on the return force is to be sucked into the result of the process rather than the process itself.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>
Yi </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My take on this (in relation to the above) is that it is worth separating Intent (Yi) from awareness.

If you decide to walk to someone – you have used intent (yi) – then whilst you are walking there you will be aware of the changes taking place in your body etc.


So when Dorshulga says:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>
I relax, sink (try to), clear mind and be even tempered. </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Then to me that says that the Yi (intent) is to relax, to in turn bring about sinking etc (as I wrote above)

Note that whilst Yi may not yet be synchronised with either energy or the body – I consider that to be a separate issue. To have no intent when practicing the form is like floating through it waiting for something to happen as if by magic.


So, Psalchemist – that is what I would suggest you do with your Yi. Put it into the ground below your substantial foot and use your awareness to help release the body and keep it constantly adjusting.

Steve



[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 11-13-2003).]
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